by Julia Andelman, JTS
Kashrut and Refugees
There’s an old joke based on the three appearances of the commandment “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk”—the first being in this week’s parashah, Mishpatim (Exod. 23:19). The narrow prohibition against “eating the flesh of an animal together with the milk that was meant to sustain it” (Etz Hayim, 474) was expanded over time into a vast array of laws regarding the separation of all dairy and all meat:
God says to Moses: You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk (Exod. 23:19).
Moses replies: Oh, you mean we should never eat any meat with any dairy?
God says: You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk (Exod. 34:26).
Moses replies: Oh, you mean we should wait three to six hours between eating meat and dairy?
God says: You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk (Deut. 14:21).
Moses replies: Oh, you mean we should have two separate sets of dishes for meat and dairy, separate pots and pans and utensils, and separate sponges?
God says: Fine, have it your way.
By Hilary Danailova for Hadassah Magazine
Judah Maccabee Marcus hardly lacks what his grandmother, Carol Marcus, calls “Jewish reinforcement.” The Basking Ridge, N.J., sixth-grader has a rabbi grandfather and attends Orthodox day school.
Even so, “I’m the one who knows all the family stories,” said Carol Marcus, 76, of Bloomingdale, N.J. “That’s what I can provide.”
By Bonnie Azoulay for The Forward
Chella Man is the first deaf Jewish-Asian model to sign with IMG — one of the most prominent modeling agencies in the world. The agency, which is known for an inclusive work environment, boasts a rolodex of models including Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin, Ashley Graham and other industry giants.
“There is an extreme lack of representation for young, Deaf, queer, Jewish, Asian, transgender artists — sorry, that is a mouthful!” he told Teen Vogue. “I decided to be my own representation,” he said.
BY TIM ALPER/JTA in JPost
“It opened up a whole world of unexpressed thoughts and feelings,” said Kim Hye-kyung.
The mother of two lives in study-mad South Korea, a nation where parents fork over a combined $17 billion on private tutoring every year. Children start early – 83 percent of 5-year-olds receive private education — and the pace keeps intensifying until, at age 18, students take the dreaded eight-hour suneung university entrance exam. Flunk the suneung and your job prospects could nosedive. Pass with flying colors and you may land a coveted spot at a top-ranked university.
Politics, pig farmers and lacrosse are among the fresh plot lines of new Jewish and Israeli movies being screened at film festivals around the United States this winter and spring, from Atlanta, Phoenix and San Diego (all in February), and from Miami to Houston (in January and March, respectively; check your local Jewish film festival website for specific dates and movie listings). Cinematic trends that show no sign of slowing down are explorations of ultra-Orthodox society and Holocaust films from Eastern European countries.
Leah Reisman for Mishpacha
There are so many toys, and so many favorites, that there is a museum dedicated solely to kids’ favorite toys and games
The National Toy Hall of Fame, which is situated in the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, features the world’s most popular toys and games from classic oldies to the latest fads. Every year since 1998, the public is welcome to nominate their favorite toys. A group of educators and historians are then tasked with choosing the winners for the year. Over the years, a wide range of toys and games have been featured, from board games to jump rope to dolls. This year there were 12 nominees, including some familiar choices, such as the American Girl doll, chalk, Chutes & Ladders, a sled, Uno, and Tic-Tac-Toe. The winners were recently announced on Thursday, November 8 and...they...are... Uno, Pinball, and the Magic Eight Ball. Do youthink those toys are winners?
By Amy Spungen for Jewish Book Council
Kim Sherwood’s debut novel, Testament, tells the story of a young woman whose beloved grandfather dies, triggering her quest to find the truth of his past. A Jewish native of Budapest, Joseph Silk is forever changed by the Holocaust, and the effects of his experience and the choices he makes afterward weave together themes of survival, betrayal, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of art. Sherwood recently answered some questions about her novel.
Amy Spungen: Kim, Testament focuses on the experience of Jews in Central Europe, especially Hungary, during the Holocaust. Can you tell us why you chose this geographic area? Is this story personal for you?
Kim Sherwood: My paternal grandmother is a Hungarian Jewish survivor, and she lived with us in London while I was growing up. We’ve always been very close, but she only began talking about her experiences a few years ago. I wanted some way to understand what she went through, so I began researching the Holocaust in Hungary. The novel grew from there.
Israel surged to 5th place in the newest Bloomberg Innovation Index of 2019, climbing five spots from last year’s index where Israel ranked 10th for the second consecutive year.
The country retained its top spot in the R&D intensity category of the survey and dropped to second place (from first last year) in research concentration.
By Jane Larkin for The Center for Jewish Peoplehood Education
Six months ago, I began teaching a premarital class to intrafaith and interfaith couples being married by clergy at my synagogue. The impetus for the class was the increasing disaffiliation and disconnection of Jewish young adults from Jewish life.
Regardless of whether couples were endogamous or interfaith, we believed that marriage presented an opportunity to influence their religious engagement. We felt that this relationship stage provided us with the chance to effect faith related choices, something especially important as we sought to encourage more interfaith couples to participate in Judaism.
The Hebrew word for life is a popular symbol and toast — and is linked to the number 18.
Chai (חי) is the Hebrew word for life. The word, consisting of two Hebrew letters —chet (ח) and yud (י)— is a Jewish symbol, frequently appearing on pendants and other jewelry.
Unlike the Indian tea chai, which is pronounced with the “ch” sound of “chocolate,” the Hebrew chai is pronounced with the same “kh” sound as in challah. Both words rhyme with “high,” however.
By Israel21c Staff
Israeli researcher claims his calculations show scientists have grossly underestimated the effects of air pollution.
The world’s scientific community has known for a long time that global warming is caused by manmade emissions in the form of greenhouse gases, while global cooling is caused by air pollution in the form of aerosols.
In a new study published in the journal Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Daniel Rosenfeld argues that the degree to which aerosol particles cool the earth has been grossly underestimated.
by Shira Feder for The Forward
A ban on the Jewish and Muslim methods of ritual slaughter of animals in Belgium’s northern Flemish region went into effect on January 1. The region’s capital is Antwerp, home to approximately 20,000 Jews.
This is just another step in a larger trend across Europe — which we’ve mapped out below, with individual restrictions and Jewish population numbers:
BY STEPHEN P. GARFINKEL, JTS
Whose Revelation Is It, Anyway?
Parashat Yitro is a Torah reading of monumental ideas, foundational concepts, and widely-recognized importance. By all measures, this week’s portion must be considered a highlight of the entire Torah, since it includes no less (and a lot more!) than the Ten Commandments. This seems to be the right place to explore questions such as these: what did the actual revelation (Exodus 20) include? What were God’s commandments? Why were these statements singled out, especially given the amount of law scattered throughout the Torah? What gives these brief pronouncements their distinctive importance? There are so many crucial questions we could ponder with great benefit about the Commandments, their form, their content, and their meaning.
BY ARIEL WEXLER for newvoices.org
The central question of “First Reformed,” Paul Schrader’s film about a pastor reckoning with climate change, is, “Can God forgive us for what we’ve done to this world?” It’s a good question for American Protestants, and for all of us living between skeptical optimism and righteous despair.
It’s high time for Jews to have our own “First Reformed” moment, and the answer might be a biblical and rhetorical tool that was staring us in the face all along: tikkun olam.
By Sky Palma for DeadState
Not Jewish news, but happy to see how churches are reacting to the hate.
YREKA, CALIFORNIA — A pastor at a Northern California Presbyterian church was ousted by his congregation after he posted anti-LGBT messages on a sign outside his church, NBC News reports.
In a post to his Facebook page this past weekend, Pastor Justin Hoke announced his removal.
“As of today, I am no longer the pastor of Trinity Bible Presbyterian Church,” Hoke wrote. “I was informed that essentially all but one couple in membership would leave the church if I continued as pastor.”
New Jewish Documentation Center, Containing 100 Years of Jewish Life in Mexico City, Opens This Week
By Alan Grabinsky for Tablet Magazine
The paper legacies of separate immigrant communities return under one roof after earthquake-induced exile
A catastrophic 1985 earthquake that killed thousands of people in Mexico City and destroyed the (back-then) Jewish neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa also left the archives of the Ashkenazi community in a state of complete disarray, stashed away in makeshift boxes in the damp and dark basement of the Nidje Israel synagogue, colloquially known as Acapulco 70 for its street address. In the early 1990s, Alicia Gojman de Backal, a history professor at the National University of Mexico, decided to make sense of this archival nightmare. The result was Generations of Jews in Mexico a seven-tome encyclopedic history of the Ashkenazi community in Mexico published in 1993 and the birth of Mexico City’s Jewish Documentation Center, which will reopen this week in its new home in the historical Rodfe Sedek synagogue.
Today, Monday, January 21, is Tu BiShvat. It is customary to eat figs. If you've never used this lovely fruit, here are some tips for buying and using figs.
by Sarah F. Berkowitz for FromtheGrapevine
From sweet black mission figs to the more delicate Adriatic and Kadota varieties, we're here to fulfill your fig fancy.
If you’re wondering how to eat a fig, you’ve come to the right address. I’m somewhat obsessed with figs, and am known to some of my friends and neighbors as Princess Fig, which obviously gives me the highest fig-titious certification that exists in the fruit universe.
The proper way to eat a fig is to simply reach up and pick one off a tree, twist off the top stem, split the fig gently in half, and enjoy the sweetness. When you’ve had your fill of straight-up figs, collect extras in a bucket and bring them home to make fig jam, fig bruschetta, orange fig and honey galette, or just slice them up and add them to your salad.
From Simply Designing
This article is featured in Jvillage Network's Tu B'Shevat Guide. For more articles, recipes, crafts, and ideas, visit here.
This fun button art craft is sure to be a hit for kids of all ages (just keep a close eye on younger children who might be tempted to put them in their mouth!)!
By Bridget Kevane for Tablet Magazine
Emerging writer Hannah Lillith Assadi, daughter of a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father, finds a home in the desert of the American Southwest
When writer Thomas McGuane told me about Hannah Lillith Assadi—“I’m presenting an award to a remarkable first novelist, a young woman from Arizona whose mother is Jewish and whose father is Palestinian!”—I was captivated. What, I wondered, was it like being raised by a Jewish mother and a Palestinian father? How did they choose to raise their daughter? What were discussions about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict like at the dinner table? How did their relationship survive the first intifada? The second? Syria? What insight could Assadi contribute to the conflict?